Wednesday, 27 May 2015

What Not to Wear for a Celebration | Family Celebrant | Civil Celebrant

Pink for a girl and blue for a boy
When planning any ceremony, the choice of colour scheme will probably be one of the first decisions to make. Once the date and location is booked, our minds turn quickly to the style and colour of the event. 

For our guests it’s a pretty similar sequence. The jumble of thoughts on receiving an invitation include: ‘Oooh how lovely’ and ‘Can I make it?’ rapidly followed by ‘What will I wear?’ 

So what role does colour play in a ceremony? 

It’s pretty obvious that a naming ceremony for a little girl is going to require lots of pink decorations while blue ribbons and balloons are the boy option. However, the situation is considerably more complicated when arranging a wedding ceremony, vow renewal or civil partnership.
Colours of a favourite football team are popular

Nor can you take for granted that a sombre dark grey, navy or black is the dress code for a funeral. Part of the growing trend of ‘celebrating the life’ of the deceased - as opposed to focusing solely on the tragedy of loss and grief at his or her death - many families are now requesting that ‘mourners’ wear more optimistic and life affirming shades. 

The same colours as the strip of the deceased’s favourite football team are another popular choice. Let’s not forget that the theme tune of Match of the Day” is now firmly in the top ten of favourite funeral music. 

Colour must be taken into consideration when planning joyous celebrations too … and it’s not just about  the flowers and outfits for the bridesmaids.

Sand comes in all colours
If, for instance, “hand fasting” or a sand pouring ceremony is going to be included, then more decisions must be made - ribbons and sand come in all shades and tones; and - crucially - each one has a slightly different meaning.

More on selecting palettes and fifty shades of …to come.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Colours Can Clash - Celebrants Can't | Wedding and Family Celebrancy

Kate in cheerful, optimistic yellow and William in calming blue
A few short weeks ago it was all about the delightful daffodil, but now its the pesky dandelion that provides our yellow spring time fix. Uninvited, they cheekily popped up - almost overnight - decorating lawns and parks with unwanted custard-like splashes of colour.

On the bright side, I have spotted a much more welcoming trend in gardening fashion: clashing colours are now OK.

I am happy to report that, even in the most elite of gardens, it is perfectly acceptable to grow
A paint box of primroses at Sopwell House
a paintbox mix of plants as I spotted in one fashionable hotel spa last weekend. No longer is it de rigour to stick to carefully contrived toning hues, as clashing colours are now bang on trend - not only for interior decoration, but also when picking bedding primroses. 

It is cheering and uplifting to see oranges, pinks, purples, yellow and reds all jostling for attention alongside each other and set against a bright background of woodland bluebells.

I find this brilliant plant palette - with plenty of yellow in the mix - makes me smile and I am happy to discover that I am not alone.

Colour psychologists speak of yellow - being the lightest shade in the spectrum - as “uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.” 

It is meant to inspire original thought and inquisitiveness while also being the colour of new ideas and inspiration.

No accident then, that the Duchess of Cambridge chose to wear a lemon dress as she left the Lindo Wing at the weekend with her new baby, Princess Charlotte.

That said, a quick search of the Internet is just as likely to reveal many different personality traits for yellow or, for that matter, a huge variety of different explanations for each and every colour of the spectrum. 
A riot of tulip colours at East Winch - my old village

While it is easy to accept  the simple theory that yellow is cheerful, red is energetic and shades of blue are calming - detailed analysis of the characteristics of colour are somewhat confusing. 

Hand fasting ribbons - which to choose?
With so many different interpretations it is, quite frankly, baffling. Added to which, many countries have their own nationalistic and historic views on the meaning of colours. It is therefore, perfectly possible, to cause offence by simply saying, doing or wearing something unwittingly inappropriate - especially in a ceremonial situation.

So the topic of colour can be something of a minefield for a Celebrant to negotiate.